U.S. Jobless Claims Rise Slightly

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer August 11, 2022
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woman laid off

States reported that 262,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending August 6. Unemployment claims have generally been rising this year and are hovering near the highest level since Nov. 2021. Prior to that, claims had been running around their lowest levels since the late 1960s, but started ticking higher in June, coinciding with an increase in job cuts and hiring freezes being reported, primarily in the technology sector.

The number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits—1.4 million—is still well below the pre-pandemic average of 1.7 million.

In other labor market news, the Labor Department's July employment report showed that U.S. employers added a staggering 528,000 new jobs last month, far surpassing economists' forecasts. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5 percent, close to what is considered full employment and a half-century low. Payrolls have finally returned to pre-pandemic levels last seen in February 2020.

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